Adia Sowho resigns as MTN Nigeria’s CMO

Adia Sowho, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of MTN Nigeria, has resigned after three years of service. Ugonwa Nwoye, the current Chief Customer Relations Officer, will assume the position of acting CMO of the telecom giant.

Sowho, who began her career as a Radio Frequency Engineer at US Cellular Corporation, started as the first-ever female CMO of MTN Nigeria.

Commenting on her LinkedIn page, she expressed appreciation to her team, colleagues, and especially Karl Toriola, CEO of MTN Nigeria, for recognizing her potential.

While her tenure brought new marketing dimensions and standards to MTN, her sudden resignation has raised speculations in top industry circles. However, MTN Nigeria has maintained that her exit was a mutual agreement.

Beginning her MTN Nigeria journey in August 2021, she infused the organization with ‘startup energy,’ transforming the company’s Consumer Business unit, which recorded over 20% year-on-year growth consistently.

The data segment grew by 50%, and MTN launched 5G services, becoming the first Nigerian telecom company to do so. Her efforts in partnering with OTT providers and OEMs promoted smartphone adoption and affordable device ownership, expanding MTN’s customer base and fostering an inclusive digital economy.

Sowho emphasised the importance of marketing to the right audience and delivering the right products by studying customer behaviour. This approach improved customer satisfaction and business advancement.

She also championed prescriptive analytics, enabling the operator to predict customer needs and fine-tune strategies quickly. This digital transformation enhanced the understanding of customer behaviour and decision-making processes.

By removing barriers that prevented employees from working in a coordinated and integrated manner, Sowho fostered cooperation across groups, accelerating the pace of delivering new solutions to the market. These cultural changes ensured MTN remained competitive and innovative.

Her experience at MTN Nigeria demonstrates that transformative change can be achieved through effective leadership and innovation. She successfully managed to overcome challenges, seize opportunities, and motivate her team to high levels, setting a model for the telecommunications industry.

Sowho’s career has transversed the industry as a management consultant at Deloitte Consulting LLP before joining the Nigerian telecom sector with Etisalat Nigeria, now 9mobile.

At Migo, she introduced instant lending solutions, enabling users to secure 10,000 loans per day. Her management at ThriveAgric earned the company recognition as one of the fastest-growing companies according to the Financial Times in 2024.


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